In 199??, the Ornamentals & Landscape Technology program needed a course in plant fundamentals that would be applicable to all plant production courses. HS 115, Plant Growth and Development was designed to meet that need. In order to make room in the OLT curriculum for HS 115, the department chose to combine HS 122 Greenhouse Operations (3 credits) with HS 141 Greenhouse Production (3 credits) into HS 141, Greenhouse Crop Production (4 credits). The extra credit in HS 141 was for extra time needed to cover crop-related information.
Currently, the OLT program has been modified to increase course flexibility with HS Advised Courses:
HS 141 Greenhouse Crop Production
HS 151 Nursery Production
HS 131 Fruit and Vegetable Production
HS 171 Landscape Construction
Students must choose two of the four courses, depending on interest and current offerings. There are two pair of courses, HS 141/HS 151 and HS 131/HS 171, offered at the same time but alternate years. All but HS 141 are 3 credits- two, 50-minute lectures and one 3-hour lab. HS 141 is two 70-minute lectures and one three-hour lab. In order to make the course slots more interchangeable, we propose to make HS 141 a 3-credit course.
In the past, that would be difficult but today, we have two factors that improve this process:
- Much of the construction, heating cooling and nutritional information involved specific calculations for determining heat load, sizing boilers, wind chill, cooling calculations, construction calculations and fertility calculations. This took considerable time as the calculations are complex and many of our students struggle with math.
Today, much of greenhouse construction is prefabricated. Greenhouses come in kits. Greenhouse supply companies have computer programs that address these issues quickly and simply for growers. Almost no one builds greenhouses from raw materials today.
- Crop production has shifted in the US from 50% potted flowering crops and 50% cut flowers to 30% potted flowering crops and 70% bedding plants. This has come about along with a shift from 100% wholesale production to about 70% retail production directly to consumers. In essence, many small growers have become garden centers.
Although this has increased the number of plant species grown, it has reduced the number of different environmental set-ups growers have to provide. Grower training needs have shifted.
Therefore, we have redesigned HS 141 to reflect these needs. We have shortened the lecture to 50 minutes by removing more commonly found calculation information and planned the information deemed critical for each lecture- listed in the 2017 proposed lecture info. We will handle more crop-related information in lab by growing more species.